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UCD Centre for the History of the Media




Upcoming Events

Summer 2018: Iberian Publishing in the Golden Age.

Autumn 2015: Digital Humanities Workshop with a focus on Visualisation and Leveraging Datasets


The Centre has run a number of conferences over the past few years.


June 2014: A Changing Book Market: Iberian Publishing, 1601-1650

20-21 May 2010: Exploring the Print World of Early-Modern Iberia

12-13 December 2008: Print Culture after Union: The Impact of 1707 and 1800

11-13 January 2007: Mass Media and Propaganda during the Cold War

24 February 2006: Censorship and Propaganda


20-21 May 2010: Exploring the Print World of Early-Modern Iberia.

Conference report

A conference, organised by the Centre for the History of the Media (University College Dublin) took place in Dublin on Thursday 20 May – Friday 21 May 2010.  The conference was funded by a generous grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Brill Publishers, the Instituto Camões in association with the Portuguese Embassy in Dublin, and by UCD’s Early-Modern Research Strand.

The theme of the conference was Exploring the Print Culture of Early Modern Iberia.  The conference aimed to showcase the vibrant research being undertaken in early-modern Iberian print studies and to situate the Iberian experience within a broad European context.  The conference was also a fitting occasion to launch Iberian Books. Books Published in Spanish or Portuguese or on the Iberian Peninsula before 1601 (Brill, May 2010), the product of a three-year research project based at UCD and a partner to the Universal Short Title Catalogue Project.

The delegates were welcomed with a paper from the conference host, Dr Sandy Wilkinson, who introduced Iberian Books - its methodology, principal findings, and possible avenues for future development.  Containing around 20,000 items, surviving in over 100,000 copies, the completion of the first stage of this cataloguing project will enable scholars to take a macroscopic view of the evolution of Iberian publishing in the first great age of print.  The session that followed probed two very important aspects of Iberian print culture.  Professor Terrence O Reilly (University College Cork) examined ‘The printing and reception of vernacular religious texts in early-modern Iberia (1480-1522): a case history’, while Dr Tess Knighton (Clare College, Cambridge) offered an overview of ‘The dynamics of music printing in the Iberian Peninsula, 1535-1648’.  After lunch, Professor Thomas Earle (St Peter’s College, Oxford), looked at the way in which Portuguese authors represented themselves on the title pages of early-modern books with a paper on ‘The Printed Book and National Identity in Early-Modern Portugal’.  Professor Andrew Pettegree (University of St Andrews) then presented a paper entitled ‘North and South: Cultural transmission in the sixteenth-century European book world’.  He presented a broad and persuasive view of the geography of print production in Europe.  

The keynote lecture was delivered by Dr Clive Griffin (Trinity College, Oxford), who talked about a fabulous bibliographic-detective story ‘La cruz de Cristo: a strange case of printing in sixteenth-century Seville’.  The paper highlighted the importance of close analytical inspection to uncovering those aspects of early-modern publishing which have remained in the scholarly shadows, such as counterfeiting or the way in which printers often outsourced projects.  

Delegates then attended a formal reception hosted by Brill.  Professors Edward James and Andrew Pettegree launched Iberian Books.  The conference dinner took placed in Dali’s Restaurant in Blackrock. 

The delegates reconvened the following morning to hear two outstanding sessions. Professor Marinela Garcia-Sempere (Universitat d’Alicant) explored the evolution of Catalan-language publishing before 1601.  This was followed by a paper from Dr Malcolm Walsby (University of St Andrews), ‘Printing at the Periphery: exploring the small print domains of western Europe’ which surveyed the cultures of print in Brittany, Scotland and Portugal.  The conference was brought to a close by the distinguished scholar Professor Artur Anselmo (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), who spoke on ‘Le livre portugais et l´Humanisme’. 

Over the course of the conference, there were lively debates concerning the extent to which major bibliographical projects such as Iberian Books can ever capture the subtle poetics of book culture.  There were conversations on what was distinctive about the Iberian experience.  Moreover, there was also some very constructive discussion about future avenues for research into the book cultures of Golden Age Spain and Portugal. 





12-13 December 2008: Print Culture after Union: The Impact of 1707 and 1800 on the Book in Ireland and Scotland. The conference was organised jointly by the Centre for the History of the Media and by the Centre for the History of the Book (University of Edinburgh). The plenary speaker was Dr Charles Benson (Trinity College, Dublin). The archived programme for the conference can be found here.

Conference Report:

A conference, jointly organised by the Centre for the History of the Book and The Centre for the History of the Media (University College Dublin), took place in Dublin on December 12-13, 2008. The theme of the conference was Print Culture after Union, and its aim was to explore the impact of 1707 and 1800 on the book trades of Ireland and Scotland .

The delegates were welcomed by the conference host, Sandy Wilkinson, after which Bill Bell (CHB) delivered an introductory lecture on ‘Scotland in the Empire of Print', looking at the ways in which nineteenth-century emigrants performed their Scottishness through their reading and book acquisition habits. Other papers on the first day included Sylvie Kleinman and Johanna Archbold (Trinity College Dublin) on 'Watty Cox and the Irish Magazine Prints, 1807-1815', Clara Cullen (School of History, UCD) on 'The reading public in Victorian Dublin', and Alastair Mann (Department of History, University of Stirling) on ‘Scottish Copyright Law and the Union of 1707'. The afternoon concluded with a Keynote Lecture on ‘The Last Frontier: The Bibliography of the Nineteenth Century', delivered by Charles Benson (Keeper of Rare Books, Trinity College Library, Dublin), which provided an incisive analysis of the way in which the practices of library professionals have helped and hindered the development of bibliography as a field of study.

The conference continued on the Saturday morning with a talk from Niall O'Ciosain (NUI Galway) on ‘The print cultures of Irish and Scottish Gaelic between 1700 and 1900', after which Regina Ui Chollatáin ( School of Irish, UCD) explored the theme of ‘Irish language journalism and print culture in the Revival period'. The conference concluded with a lively panel which included Alex Benchimol (Department of English Literature, University of Glasgow) and Mark Towsey (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Liverpool), who delivered papers on ‘Print Culture and the Public Sphere in post-Union Scotland: Autonomy or Assimilation?' and ‘Vestiges of Ancient Independence: consolidating 1707 in the Hearts and Minds of Scottish Readers 1750-1820', respectively.

There was lively discussion over the two days about the exact implications of political union for the book trade and its consumers, as well as the relationship between the public sphere and the construction of cultural identities through print. Generous funding for the event was provided by University College Dublin.



11-13 January 2007: Three-day conference on Mass Media and Propaganda during the Cold War. The archived programme can be found here.


24 February 2006 One-day conference on Censorship and Propaganda. The archived programme can be found here.